Huge increase in marriages between cousins in the UK....
Not a healthy sign...
A rise in the number of marriages between cousins in Britain has prompted calls for a crackdown on the practice amid warnings it is putting children's health at risk.
Crossbench peer Baroness Deech has called for a 'vigorous' public campaign to deter marriages between family members, which is common in Muslim and immigrant communities.
Her comments come as figures show up to 75 per cent of British Pakistanis in some areas are married to first cousins.
In a speech to be made next week, obtained by The Times, the leading family lawyer will warn that such marriages can be a barrier to the integration of minority communities and increases the risk of birth defects in children.
She is also expected to call for testing for genetic defects when marriages between family members are arranged and for a register of people carrying genetic diseases to be set up in order for two carriers not to be introduced.